4 Minimalist Gifts for Mother's Day
Updated: May 11, 2018
If your parents are like mine, they usually buy what they want whenever they want...So when it comes time for birthdays, Christmas, or special holidays the only gift ideas I ever come up with are things so extravagant they would never buy for themselves and so expensive I can't buy for them!! You may not know this about me yet, but I have a very self-deprecating sometimes morbid sense of humor...so I'm constantly teasing my parents about what we're going to do with all their "stuff" when they...you know...when they're 150 and they check-in to that eternal time-share in the sky. I don't want to add to the pile of cra...I mean amazing family heirlooms we're going to have to sort through and figure out where in God's green earth we're going to put them. When we talk about this, Dad just rolls his eyes and threatens to write me out of the Dale Earnhardt collection inheritance and Mom starts woefully parting with some stuffed animals and dolls she's hidden in a trunk while secretly tucking some away in old pocketbooks. I find this completely lovable and hysterical all while my eye starts twitching a little and I'm mentally calculating the capacity of construction trash containers...
The thing is...I'm the one whose contributed to at least a decent percentage of that. (Less than 30% since I know Beth and Beka have more stuff at Mom's than I do...snicker snicker.) The last thing I want to do is add more of a burden by gifting her things that don't have real value and she'll feel bad parting with. Back to wandering the aisles, agonizing over thousands of useless items, and thinking "I'm going to have to do this again in two months..."
There are a few go-to things that are always very appreciated by my mom. We can never go wrong gifting her a massage appointment, manicure/pedicure, movie tickets, or flowers. She loves to get all of those, but sometimes I just want to change it up a little. I'm not like Beth...she knows ALL the good stuff. When she buys Mom or Dad something (or any of us for that matter) she has put some major thought into it. You WANT what Beth is gifting. In fact, her gift-guide over at The Southern Mess blog is so perfect. You still have a little time so click on over there. Maybe you're looking for something to go with a gift to make it a little "extra" or like me you've waited until the last minute and you're gnashing your teeth over stuff in the stationary aisle in Walmart or maybe you just really want to shake things up. If so, check out this list and see if something doesn't float your boat.
1) Tell your mom to take a hike...Just kidding!!! Take your momma on a hike!! It's the perfect season to get outside and enjoy this beautiful weather before it turns 9,000 degrees with humidity you could swim in. Whether your mom typically gets outside or not, having someone to walk through the woods or on a trail with is fun. It's also therapeutic. One study has shown that getting outside and moving is "associated with greater feelings of revitalization and positive engagement, decreases in tension, confusion, anger and depression, and increased energy." Residual gifts anyone? You could really make this special by hiking through a place like Kanapaha Gardens in Gainesville, FL or any point on the Florida Trail system. (Sidenote: wear tick spray cause they're out...promise)
2) Pack her bags...sometimes we don't do something because the task seems too daunting. It can be very challenging to tackle something alone. If you know that your momma really wants to, for example, declutter, provide the boxes, the moral support, and the extra brain power. It's easier to do something like that with a friend who gets to experience the process with you. If you're going to show up with boxes to haul all her stuff away, you may want to also bring some flowers and chocolate... If decluttering isn't on her bucket list, you could pack her bags for a day or weekend trip. It's nice to visit places with girls (assuming you're a girl reading this...if you're a guy reading this, trust me, your mom would LOVE that you sacrificed for her in this way) that your husband would balk at...like the Savannah Tour of Homes or the Downton Abbey exhibit. (To be fair, my dad did accompany my mom to the Downton exhibit and I think secretly enjoyed every minute.)
3) Archive her data. I get it. This sounds super boring. Not a dose of sentimentality here. Wait! Don't bail on me yet. A year or two ago I told my mom to backup all her pictures on USB thumb drives. She deleted several years from her computer and uses the thumb drives when she wants to access those images. Then I started reading about thumb drive failures and how data isn't really that safe on a thumb drive. Enter "the dilemma". Do I try to explain to my mom how to choose an external hard drive, format it for her system, and then transfer all the files over to the new drive? OR Do I just do it for her? There's several bonuses here. First, you get to score points for being sentimental because hey...you're super concerned about protecting her special memories. Second, you can save her (and yourself) the headache of choosing and ordering a quality hard drive by doing it yourself. Third, momma gets to move 215,000 images from her existing computer to her shiny new digital file drawer and her computer runs lightning fast again. You're a hero and mom can keep clicking away. Here is a hard drive that has a over 4k Amazon reviews, low return rate and only 11% one star ratings. I feel like it's pretty reliable and Western Digital is an HGST company that has the lowest failure rates among hard drives. If you would like an online backup as well (I do) I've found Backblaze to be effortless. It's an automatic online backup of your entire computer for only $60/year. That's a perfect Mother's Day gift that's requires zero physical space.
4) Deliver or send meals for a few days or a week. My momma has been cooking suppers for 50+ years. She helped cook as a little girl and then of course continued cooking healthy meals for our family and now families. That's over 18,000 meals. Seriously! Just put me out of my misery now...I've only cooked meals for maybe 20 years and I've already hit the wall. There are several meal services that deliver fresh food straight to your home. No meal planning and no grocery shopping required. You could send her a box for a week. If you can spare the time, making a few of her favorite meals that can freeze or delivering a few times one week would be heaven!!! Better yet, just have her over to eat a few times and then she doesn't even have to clean up! Down here, when somebody has a baby, get's hurt, or loses a family member people show up in droves with food. It's nice not having to think about that. Why not extend that to our moms who do so much for so many?
Moms come in all forms...sometimes they're single-dads, sometimes they're adopted, sometimes they're grandparents or a lifelong friend that's always been there and mentored you. No matter the mother-figure in your life, they've sacrificed to make you a better person, the person you are today...I'm wishing you a beautiful Mother's Day with the ones that love you back.